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Melanoma Cancer By Madeleine Van Basten Batenburg.

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1 Melanoma Cancer By Madeleine Van Basten Batenburg

2 What causes Melanoma? Melanoma Cancer is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Energy from the sun is a form of radiation. It consists of visible light and other rays that people can't see. Invisible infrared radiation, for instance, makes sunlight feel hot. UV also is invisible, and causes sunburn and suntan. UV rays damage DNA, the genetic material that makes up genes. Genes control the growth and health of skin cells. If the genetic damage is severe, a normal skin cell may begin to grow in the uncontrolled, disorderly way of cancer cells. UV rays also cause sunburn and other damage that makes the skin wrinkle prematurely. There are two kinds of rays in ultraviolet radiation: ultraviolet A (UVA) ultraviolet B (UVB) Scientists once thought that UVA rays were the main cause of melanoma. Now they think that UVB rays are also involved. That's why it is important to use a sunscreen product that protects against both UVA and UVB. Abnormal genes that children inherit from their parents may make them more likely to get melanoma. Inherited genetic characteristics can include physical appearance (such as pale skin) as well as hidden tendencies to develop certain diseases. Scientists have discovered a gene, called the p16 gene, than can cause malignant melanomas.

3 Symptoms for Melanoma A change in the size, colour, shape, or feel of an existing mole The appearance of a new growth or mole on the skin

4 Treating of Melanoma Treatment of melanoma depends on the disease stage, the individual's age, overall health, and other factors. Doctors usually develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some people with melanoma decide to get a second opinion. They want another doctor to review the diagnosis and treatment plan and make suggestions. A second opinion can be especially important for individuals with melanoma that has spread and is in an advanced stage. Surgery to remove the tumour is the first treatment used in about 95 percent of melanoma cases. Surgery may be all the treatment needed for small, thin melanomas. When melanoma is more advanced, other treatments such as chemotherapy (treatment with anticancer drugs) or immunotherapy may be used after surgery to kill cancer cells remaining in the body. This extra treatment is called adjuvant therapy.

5 Preventing Melanoma The most important way to prevent melanoma is avoiding excessive sun exposure. Prevention must begin in childhood, because most people get about 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18. Keep these facts about sun exposure in mind: Regular, day-to-day exposure is usually experienced by outdoor workers and individuals who spend lots of time in outdoor activities over the course of many years. Rare periods of intense exposure are often experienced by people who stay indoors most of the time and then sun themselves daily for a week or so while on vacation

6 Have you heard? The Clare Oliver Melanoma Fund Clare Oliver loved and embraced life. She was just 26 when she lost her battle with cancer, on 13 September 2007. Three years ago, she noticed a strange lump under her arm that was diagnosed as a Melanoma. This lump was cut out and her cancer scare made her even more determined to get on with her life. Clare travelled to Europe and went on to complete her second university degree. But cancer came back and Clare took on the fight for her life. She reflected on the why and made a connection with her use of solariums and sun exposure and her Melanoma. Clare was searching for perceived ideals of beauty and thought that a golden tan was necessary to attain that ideal. She, like so many other young people, used solariums in the belief that this was something akin to good health. Clare became aware of the dangers of solarium use. She used her remaining time and energy to make certain that the rest of Australia heard and responded to that message. Skin protection from the sun and from rays is the message she shouted loud and clear. Melanoma awareness is the legacy Clare wanted to leave behind. Throughout her campaign for Melanoma awareness Clare touched the hearts of the community, and governments are now focusing more on this serious health issue. Associate Professor Grant McArthur, a medical oncologist at Melbournes Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, was Clares doctor and the first to praise her courage and determination. Clare has taught us all about the importance of speaking out. Her voice will make a difference. The Clare Oliver Melanoma Fund has been established to honour the courage and bravery of Clare Oliver. 100% of proceeds from the fund will be directed to Melanoma research, focusing on research collaborations between leading melanoma research and treatment centres

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